Brand Yourself…

The quote “Better to bend than to break.” has been attributed to many different authors.  Social Media is a lot like that.  If you don’t believe me, look at how I seemingly lost 1,000 fans the other night, but I keep on going.  What appears to have happened is this…I checked my FB fan page admin stats right as they were apparently rolling out the “Call to Action” button on my page that I have been waiting on.  So I got the button…but somehow a glitch lost me a few fans.  Since I really wanted this button and sometimes get in on a few beta testing opportunities, I don’t mind because it sends the fans over here to sign up for the blog.  On my Vitalize You page, I was given the button even earlier and I set it up as a direct shopping cart for those of you who want to know what products I am using.  See the tab Vitalize You up top here for more.

Next, I am in this beta testing group for Pinterest ads and promoting your pins.  Now when Pinterest first started, way back when, I was a newbie and I made all my own pins from scratch.  I created what I wanted the look of my boards to be at first and didn’t re-pin.  I know, it sounds like I didn’t get it, but I actually wanted my own content to be the foundation of my boards.  I wanted to see what happened.  I remember my first “Geek” board as no one else seemed to have thought of that and my geeky pins were getting really popular.  Next, my inspiring words board still to this day has my most popular viral pin ever and gets pinned all the time.  Finally, I found out people like smoothies…particularly this one I found and wanted to try as “paleo”.  So what it taught me were that there were a few or 10,000 or so people out there like me.

Recently I began doing a lot of research for a company that had not yet hired me.  I like to know who I am going to be working with and what help they might need.  They needed quite a bit of help in the social media department and I had some good ideas, but I don’t think they really understood the value of what social media can do for their business.  I looked deeply at their Twitter, FB fan page, and website and everything was erm old.  Stale.  The links took me to last year’s events.  The FB page actually had some ummm bad spam that I reported to the “FB police”.  And Twitter was vastly, vastly underutilized.  I Googled them.  I spent lots of time studying ways they needed to move forward.  They needed a total social media plan and package.  As I sat shivering through an interview that was nearing 2.5 hours, I could tell they did not quite see the value of spending time interacting with your “fans” on social media.  The story you pitch to others is not just a way to make money, get donors, or help your business grow.  It is in fact, part of who you are.  If we can’t connect to you, as an individual person, if we think you just want our money, then you have, quite simply, lost us.

So when we were nearing the end of this process, I was listening to one of the directors speak about not changing the name, which I strongly agreed with because that’s the “brand” people associate you with…but then she went in another direction about the color.  She didn’t want to be associated with a certain color and I was told to notice that they didn’t have it everywhere.  The problem is, the color is everywhere on the marketing materials…and their page…and their website.  In fact, this color evokes such strong feelings of support that it could actually be part of their current success without her realizing it.

So I didn’t quite understand, and happened to have a few brochures that used this color from her business, and that’s when I knew I definitely lost them…as much as they lost me.  I was no longer interested in this job at all.  Because you see, it was the color pink.  This color represents compassion, nurturing and love. It relates to unconditional love and understanding, and the giving and receiving of nurturing…which in fact happens when you are supporting others who have been diagnosed with breast cancer.  They had even cleverly used the pink ribbon in their materials…and merchandise.  So clearly I didn’t see their vision if this color was something that they really didn’t want to be associated with.  So trust me when I say brand yourself and tell your story.

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Blogiversary!

Happy Blogiversary to us!  Without you reading my posts, there wouldn’t be a blog.  Ok, that’s not true, I would be lonely, but the truth is, I write for me as I’ve always said.  It heals something deep down inside me that was broken the day I found out about my first diagnosis of an “invisible disease” named Porphyria.  So without further ado, let’s go back there, shall we?  Cue psychedelic swirly things.  And poof!  We are in 1997.  That was the New Year’s Eve all the crazy decided it was time to come out.  It started with tests coming back odd…and I thought my life was just beginning with my soon-to-be husband back then.  Then I get told about the cervical dysplasia and I admit the word pre-cancerous cells is scary.  It just is.

So as we move into 1998, the year does not get any better at that point.  I find a man I am madly in love with and now I am falling apart…in more ways than one.  That’s when the blisters started.  Blisters. Are.  Bad.  These were not your ordinary ones mind you, well have a read over there at my link.  I’ll wait.  Humming music in my head.  Okay, back on track.  See I told you.  They used LATIN words.  Latin.  On me.  Who did they think they were dealing with??  I had a B.A. in English and was a researcher.  Of course I was going to find out what they trying to hide.  And it wasn’t going to be good…but I already knew the that the second she whispered to the other doctor.

Anyway, I consoled myself back then with the fact that out of all the porphyrias, mine seemed to be the less likely to cause internal pain.  I didn’t think about the psychological at the time.  The fact that I was such a strong person and this was slowly killing me inside.  But, I had a wedding to plan so let’s get to the rest of 1998, and how it lingered on.  You will want to read that link over there again.  I’ll wait for you to catch up because that one includes everyone’s favorite subject.  Vampire lore (hint, I do not sparkle, but yes, the burning part is real).  I have been told I am ageless.  There is some truth to that part of the myth as well.  I do get my blood taken for life.  But I would not wish this on even the most fervent Twilight fan.  P.S. that vamp is dumb.  My man Damon Salvatore is much better…in fact any vampire is better than Mr.  Sparkle.  Just my opinion.

Okay, back to me getting married at this point in my life with pints of blood taken every week, no sunlight, no birth control, no alcohol, and blisters still present.  Did I mention my skin burned?  Burned all over, but especially my hands.  Ding, ding ding!  See how I came up with the quote title??  It made perfect sense.  Love of literature combined with the horrible stuff going on in my body.  Poof.  Perfect title.  So let’s finish up remembering why I started this blog by reading this post the Summer of 1998.  And this my friends, is why I need to finish my book.  I believe my story can and does help others feel less alone in this world.  And this was just the beginning.

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Motivational Monday…

SO last week, someone tried to steal my joy.  I like that saying only because my old Principal would look at me and say “No one is going to steal the “J” from my JOY.”  She said no matter what was going on, when I passed her in the hall, I would make eye contact and say hello.  If I passed her 5 times, I’d say hello 5 times.  Or how you doing?  She would always be walking with intent to get somewhere, but I knew she had lots going on, so I would make sure I said hello.

Life is like that.  Sometimes, we forget that other people have lots going on too.  We want to think we are the only ones mired down in this life.  We lose sight of the bigger picture.  We lose sight of humanity.  Our focus goes from global to microscopic.  We start to doubt that there is a place for us in this world at times.  The demons of negativity come out.  She hates me.  She isn’t here for me because she didn’t say hello this week.  Well, I’ll show her.  I’ll delete her.  Chances are, she has no idea why you are doing that, but go ahead.  If it makes you feel better about yourself, go ahead.

Then there are the huge declarations on your social sites…in one week, I am deleting my account!!!  Waits for people to beg them to stay to see if anyone cares.  Or my favorite, no, not at ALL.  The FML status.  They wait for people to say “Ohhhh girl, what’s wrong?”, but sometimes, sometimes, people forget that others are doing the best they can at that moment too, so your grand display on social media might not be noticed.  However, I bet if you called someone or even private messaged someone and said, hey, I really need someone to talk to.  I am not feeling the love over here.  Then, just maybe then, you would get the response you wanted.

The problem is, no one wants to OWN their story.  That’s right.  If this were fixed, my life would be so much better.  If I didn’t have blah, blah-blah, I’d be great.  If such and such liked me, I would be fine.  But the real deal is, once it’s fixed, something else is going to break.  If you didn’t have one thing, you’d have another.  And if that person did like you, you might still have problems.  So start with yourself.  Focus on loving yourself.  Believing in yourself.  Trusting yourself. And saying HELL YES, I can do this.  This might be a hard thing, but I can do this.  Smile at people.  Say hi 5 times.  Even if they ignore you or look away.  Don’t let anyone steal your joy.  Not even you.  NOT EVEN YOU. 

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Motivational Monday…

Healing people.  That is my motivation lately.  I made a new page tab on the blog for my new business and things are coming along.  I believe in my research of all-natural products.  I realize that everyone has their own battle and does not do the kind of research I do.  Most people haven’t been attacked by various illnesses for the last 17 years either; however, I am trying to heal myself from the inside out.  In one of my blog posts, I mention getting help from a chiropractor who also happens to be in my business.  She is one of the first people to find that puzzle piece I long suspected was missing and said that perhaps dormant Epstein-Barr has been trying to take over.

It’s a good day when I have the energy to clean the house so today was a really good day.  I am going to keep plugging along and promoting clean eating and removing the contaminates from life.  Contaminates can come in all shapes and sizes.  Think of the things that stress you out.  If the answer is to remove said stress, then why wait?  Often times people tell me they “can’t” do something.  Let me tell you about the difference between can’t and won’t.  You are able to do anything you make up your mind to do.  You just have to believe.  The problem is you won’t.  You won’t do it because there is a fear attachment or some other reason you have decided sounds good in your head.  Name that fear and cast it away.  Write it down, crumble it up, and take it to the trash.  End of story.

The next time you say you can’t change what’s happening to you, name the fear.  I know what my fears are.  Do you?

Face your fear

This quote is so awesome I must print it out and read it daily.  Please feel free to pin it and have it go viral.

Motivational Monday…The Love Mindset

“The greatest potential we have for opening our hearts lies in the opening of our minds.  The heart is simply a bank of emotional potential.  It’s a vastness of possible experience.  We all hold within us the capacity for joy, love, and laughter, but not everyone uses that capacity.  In order to use it, we need to reach a unity between heart and mind.”  So begins a paragraph I highlighted in The Love Mindset, by Vironika Tugaleva.  I found this statement to be moving.  Let’s think of every wrong, or every prejudice we feel we have stored inside of us, and imagine it melting away with the opening of your heart.  To do that we often hear, you have to be more “open-minded”.  We, as a collective, could benefit from that statement.

“Each commonality that we acknowledge between ourselves and another person acts as a sedative for the mind.  You find sameness and your mind loosens slightly, opening ever so gently to allow the breeze of love to enter into your core.”  In my experience of teaching little children, I have found that they most often think we are alike until we teach them otherwise.  That’s right.  I had to teach a whole unit on similarities and differences.  I always did it differently than most because I wanted my class to remember that what’s inside us is all the same.  So for me, this book was more about getting back to basics.  Re-setting yourself, if you will, and allowing your heart to be open as it once was.  Before the layers of hate, self-loathing, guilt and anger piled on to cloud your vision.

There were many moments when I reflected on healing my heart in this book, but none so clearly as when I read this passage “That which is good for us requires less upkeep than that which is not.”  For me, I have to crawl deep out of the pits of despair I feel when diagnosed with yet another “disease”.  She goes on to write “Living in a mind polluted with isolating, self-defeating thoughts is very, very difficult.  It is like drowning.  Once in a while, you surface up and take a gulp of air.  You remember that, maybe, you don’t have to suffer anymore.”  If at some point in your life, you have felt that way, you need to hold onto that lifeline being thrown your way and remember that there are countless others who love you and are there for you.  There really are.  So come back up, reach out, and learn what the love mindset is all about.

Vironika Tugaleva is an author, speaker, people lover, reformed cynic, and a different kind of spiritual teacher. She helps people heal their minds and discover their inner strength. *You’re invited to read more about Vironika and her inspiring book The Love Mindset.

Rumi

*Don’t forget to comment if you would like a copy.  I will enter your name in a raffle and pick two!

Motivational Monday…

I was in a groove, you know what I’m saying.  I was doing everything right and I felt good.  Then whammy.  The little trip to vertigo lane derailed me.  To the point that I lost confidence and that is never a good thing.  So, I woke up, realized I needed to think about all the things that have gone right in my life, and go from there.  Last week, my friend from high school got some wonderful news about her cancer tumors.  They can operate.  Tears of joy.  Cancer can be beat back.

My tiny one celebrated her birthday and got her ears pierced.  My oldest is a good kid, and middle school might be hard for some, but she is so focused on school work she doesn’t let anything bother her.  I called my cousin this morning and we had an hour-long chat.  And lastly, I have NOT gotten a rejection letter in quote some time.  Okay, so I have only ever gotten one because I wasn’t sending my work out there, but now that I am, I am expecting the letters.  Only this time, this time, I know I have a good story and if they don’t think it works for the children’s magazine, I am thinking of tweaking it and making it longer.  I really loved the research and could definitely make it a chapter book.

I sent in one of my other children’s pieces and have not heard back.  Supposedly it can take months.  I am new at this and have no idea what I am doing, so I need a system to remind me where I sent what.  I will eventually get on that.  Back to motivating…I helped four people with their businesses lately.  Two run their own locally, and two are internet based.  Yes, I am doing it for free.  It doesn’t bother me.  I inadvertently ummm helped my child’s cafeteria monitor last week, and then went to the AP about a new way to monitor behavior there.  Okay, so I am a fixer.  I can’t seem to stop being a teacher.  I see a problem and it would literally make my skin crawl if I didn’t try to help.   Sigh.

So today, this is what I said to myself and it stuck.  Here is my motivation for today:

Make it happenProbably 5 other people have said this before, but today, I said it.  I am doing it.  I will work to make it happen.

Turbulence…

Turbulence can be described as sudden, violent movements of air or water…or a state of confusion, violence, or disorder.  Many people I know are feeling this right now in their lives.  I have written about this before, but I have a connection of some sort that I can’t explain to my younger cousin.  She calls me or e-mails me when I need it, and I do the same.  Something told me to send her a message tonight that spoke to me.  I had no idea it was what she needed to hear.  I will share it with you in case it is something you need to hear as well.  For when you’re Lost.

 

Fleeing